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Acupuncture Effective for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

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Acupuncture is an effective intervention for treating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and improving patients’ quality of life and experience with neurotoxicity-related symptoms with longer term effects evident.”

According to research, more than 50% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience the side effect called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Living with chronic pain is difficult. Those cancer patients who experience CIPN live with varing degrees of chronic pain. If you ask your oncologist about CIPN he/she will probably tell you that the pain might dissipate. Studies confirm that the pain might subside, it might remain the same or it might even get worse.

According to the study linked below, acupunture “is an effective intervention for treating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and improving patients’ quality of life and experience with neurotoxicity-related symptoms with longer term effects evident.”

I have documented the benefit of acupuncture for cancer patients and survivors for side effects including:

And now I’m documenting the benefit of acupunture for one of the most painful side effects of all, CIPN.

To learn more about therapies for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


A Randomized Assessor-Blinded Wait-List-Controlled Trial to Assess the Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Management of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is a complex side effect with few available treatment options. The aim of the study was to test the effectiveness of an 8-week course of acupuncture in the management of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients who were receiving or had received neurotoxic chemotherapy.

Methods: Randomized assessor-blinded controlled trial with 2 arms; one arm received acupuncture twice weekly for 8 weeks, while the other arm was a wait-list control group receiving only standard care. Primary outcome was pain intensity and interference over the past week using the Brief Pain Inventory at the end of the intervention. Secondary outcomes included clinical assessment (CTCAE [Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events] grading and Total Neuropathy Score–Clinical Version) and nerve conduction studies; and patient-reported outcome measures (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Gynecologic Oncology Group–Neurotoxicity Quality of Life scale and Symptom Distress Scale) assessed at baseline, end of treatment (8 weeks), week 14, and week 20 from the beginning of treatment.

Results: Eighty-seven patients were randomized to the experimental arm (n = 44) and to the standard care wait-list control arm (n = 43). Significant changes at 8 weeks were detected in relation to primary outcome (pain), the clinical neurological assessment, quality of life domains, and symptom distress . Improvements in pain interference, neurotoxicity-related symptoms, and functional aspects of quality of life were sustained in the 14-week assessment, as were physical and functional well-being at the 20-week assessment.

Conclusions: Acupuncture is an effective intervention for treating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and improving patients’ quality of life and experience with neurotoxicity-related symptoms with longer term effects evident.”

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